Can We Hold All Of It?

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA; November, 2015

Can we hold all of it? Can we both honor the war dead and wonder why, dear God, are we still engaged in endless war? Can we both use words like sacrifice and courage and service with conviction and sincerity and compassion while asking ourselves, are there other words I could be saying, too? Illuminating words? Game-changing words? Words that come from a deep and wise and loving place? Can we both grieve and resent that we are?

I’m trying to. And have come to realize that since the death of my mother a month ago, I’ve been practicing this spiritual balancing act. Because, yes, I mourn, yes, I miss her every day, yes, I’m sad, yes, I am grateful for all she imparted; how she’d modeled so many ways to be a strong, fulfilled woman. (Just writing fulfilled, a word she used all the time, makes me smile.) And yes, my relationship with Pat Wild was—and is— the most rich and complicated and challenging relationship I will ever have! So, yes, I am learning to hold all of it. Slowly. And sometimes failing, falling.

Meanwhile: The world just noted the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of “The Great War.” (aka “The War To End All Wars.”) Meanwhile: Veterans for Peace just reclaimed Armistice Day. Meanwhile, my mother’s unambiguous, clear, firm, posthumous message to me: be grateful.


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  1. Dearest Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely precious and dearly special soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re FOR ALWAYS so, so very much! Sistah, what a very beautiful, brilliantly beautiful, contemplative, and deeply spiritual blog post article here, my absolutely AWESOME friend, Patricia! Yes, we can hold all of it! Yes, we can all hold all of it! Yes, I can hold all of it! Very gradually, bit by bit, step by step! Sister, your both/and words are very aptly composed proving very much indeed to be illuminating and enlightening. I’m trying very much as well! Me, too! Awwwww, how I so love learning more about your amazing late Mother and what a joy and blessing and very interesting, too. What a strong, fulfilled woman AND YOU, TOO, Patricia! I love that her favorite word was, “fulfilled.” I’m smiling as well, sisterfriend, Patricia!!!!! 😊❤ What an inspirational and emboldening posthumous message from your darling Mom, sister! I’m FOR ALWAYS so, so very full of appreciation overflowing with bountiful blessings full of such gratitude, my friend, Patricia! God so, so very much loves YOU, Patricia, all of you and yours, and all of you and cherishes you all a whole lot and a whole bunch FOR ALWAYS AND SO DO I, TOO FOR ALWAYS!!!!!!! 😊❤ With Thanksgiving fast approaching I’ve a very thankful heart and spirit and as always FOR SWEET GOD BLESSING, for all of my bountiful blessings, FOR YOU my very life’s and eternal joy and blessing FOR ALWAYS, Patricia, for all of you and yours, and for all of you everywhere with me just loving all of you everywhere both near and far in my very heart and very life!!!!!!! 😊❤ HAPPY NICE SPECIAL BLESSED BOUNTIFUL Thanksgiving, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely special and dearly precious FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker white woman, Patricia, and all of you and yours, and all of you everywhere both near and far in my very heart and very life FOR ALWAYS!!!!!!! 😊❤. YOURS FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian black woman in the great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon 😊❤

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